Have you ever wondered if you should be concerned about the dangerous chemicals in your manicure products and in the nail salons you frequent?
The answer is “yes!” It turns out that toxic chemicals that you apply to your body (including your fingernails and toenails) are even more harmful than the ones you ingest, because they go straight into your bloodstream, rather than getting diluted in the stomach first.
Nail polish and manicure products contain some of the most dangerous toxic chemicals of all, such as Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), and Toluene.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a chemical compound which is widely used in industrial manufacturing and a number of other industries. It can also be used in things like glues, preservatives, antiseptics, resins, paints, film processing, and embalming. It generally does not exist in nail polish, but is used in some nail hardeners to make the polish tough and resilient It is toxic and is known to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, occupational hazards, organ system toxicity, skin/eye/lung irritation and biochemical or cellular level changes. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives it a score of 10 (with 10 being the most harmful).
- Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): DBP is a commonly used plasticizer. It is also used as an additive to adhesives or printing inks. It acts as a binder to improve the lasting power of nail lacquer and prevent chips and cracks. It is toxic and known to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin/eye/lung irritation, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption and persistence and bioaccumulation in wildlife. It has an EWG score of 10.
- Toluene: Toluene has an overpowering scent that is similar to paint remover or turpentine. It helps nail polish go on smoothly and adhere evenly to the nail. It is added to gasoline, used to produce benzene, and used as a solvent. If it is ingested, it can cause liver and kidney damage, anemia, or problems with the upper respiratory tract. It may cause serious birth defects. If it is inhaled for a long period of time, it could cause chemical pneumonitis — a condition that is potentially fatal. Symptoms of toluene exposure can include fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, sore throat and nausea. It is also known to cause cancer, developmental toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity, skin and eye irritation, neurotoxicity, occupational hazards, persistence and bioaccumulation in wildlife and benzene concerns (Benzene is a natural part of crude oil. Some industries use benzene to make other chemicals. It is also used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.) The EWG gives toluene a score of 10.
EWG’s Skin Deep database provides consumers with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. Hazard ratings within Skin Deep are shown as low, moderate, or high concern categories, with numeric rankings spanning those categories that range from 0 (low concern) to 10 (high concern).
Now that you know about the risks involved in using standard manicure and pedicure products, how do you find the healthy ones? And, how do you find educated local nail salons, nail techs and manicurists, who don’t put your health at risk either?
There are many products in the marketplace, including manicure products, that claim to be more natural and risk-free. Here’s one, Priti NYC, that actually makes good on its claims. (And, there is a new, fume-free nail salon in Denver, Colorado who carries this line, along with other more safe and natural manicure products.)
The word “Priti” has many meanings in Sanskrit, such as out of satisfaction, with love, and pleasurable sensation.
About Priti NYC:
- Priti NYC is considered a pioneer and leader in eco-friendly manicure products.
- Founded by Kim D’Amato during her pregnancy. (D’Amato made a conscious effort to switch to organic foods and health products, yet couldn’t seem to find a way to beautify herself in the same natural manner.)
- Mission: to support organic farmers and to decrease the amount of chemicals poisoning the earth- and it’s inhabitants-one manicure at a time.
- Also manufactures a completely biodegradable soy nail polish remover, making it safe for children and pregnant women to use.
- Polishes have been completely formulated without any Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, and Camphor.
- Cruelty Free and 100% Vegan
- In addition to being less toxic, their nail polishes are very moisturizing, helping to rebuild natural nail strength, for longer and stronger nails.
- No synthetic fragrances or colors, relying only on organic essential oils and botanicals for treating the skin.
What is Priti NYC’s EWG score?:
The answer depends on which Priti NYC product or line you are using. Since Priti isn’t yet in EWG’s database, we took great pangs to research the individual ingredients in the color “256-American Star” from the Priti “Flowers” line. According to our calculations, the good news is, this particular color got an average EWG score of 2.6!
To learn more about Priti NYC or to find a Priti salon near you, visit http://www.pritinyc.com.
To learn more about the super friendly (and eco-friendly!) ÜberChic Nail Boutique in Denver CO, visit the owner, BK, and her two sisters at http://www.uberchicboutique.com
(and tell them that Feel Good Buzz sent you!).
For more information about other healthy nail products, see our “Pretty Nails Without the Health Risks” at http://www.feelgoodbuzz.com/pretty-nails-without-the-health-risks.html.
(Sources of information for this review: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep, http://www.alllacqueredup.com/ 2007/05/big-3-chemicals-that-is.html,http://www.stylelist.com/2009/04/23/formaldehyde-and-nailpolish/, http://planetgreen.discovery.com/fashion-beauty/toluene.html, http://www.wikipedia.com, and http://www.wisegeek.com)